Is the Sky Falling in California?

By R.S. Rodriguez

The Ventura County Star Newspaper recently published an article referencing a U.S. Geological Survey which recently expressed concerns about the possibilities of massive storms bombarding California.  These storms could potentially pack hurricane-like winds and devastate our state.

According to the report, California is due such storms every 150 years, or so.  Based on the study by the U.S. Geological Survey, we are overdue.  In light of the potential destructive capabilities of scenarios where we are deluged hypothetically by 50 continuous days of rains, winds and floods, how do the State of California, counties, cities and individuals prepare for such possible calamities? What would be the economic and emotional impacts of such storms in Ventura County?

California is currently experiencing massive budget deficits.  Newly-elected Gov. Jerry Brown announced his budget, which if passed, would slash funds to many state, county and city agencies, thereby curtailing and reducing our capabilities of responding to the potential devastation of these storms.  The coupling of these potential storms and our budgetary woes could mean trouble for California.  It is estimated should these scenarios occur, the economic impact on our state could be between 200-300 billion dollars.  If these storms do develop, we would be experiencing our own “Perfect Storm.”

My family lives in the Oxnard Plain.  We are surrounded by mountains nestled next to the Pacific Ocean.  If these storms were to eventually develop, Oxnard, Camarillo and Ventura could be devastated as water, rain, mud and debris would flow non-stop from the mountains.  We would potentially be overwhelmed with flooding as local authorities, individuals and storm drains would not be able to cope with the amounts of water and mud these devastating storms would bring. Should families stock up on food supplies and bottles of water as many people did in preparation for the YK2 scare?  Does it behoove us to collect sandbags in mass amounts to try to protect our homes from potential devastation?  Should we invest in boats with outboard motors to get around our streets should the water levels be up to our chests?  If these scenarios do happen, imagine the potential damage to thousands and thousands of homes, parks, streets, businesses and infrastructure in Ventura County alone?

Is the U.S. Geological Survey whipping California into mass hysteria and turning us into fear mongering people?  What would Henny Penny do?  Or is it responsible and logical to prepare for a 10.0 earthquake, or a 50 day flood, or a monsterous asteroid heading towards earth?  Perhaps we should prepare for Dec 21, 2012?